Lieutenant Thomas Alexander

Lieutenant Thomas Mitchell Alexander, 1st/4th ( Border) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli on the 12th July 1915, aged 29, during the ” Charge” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah. He had been born in Selkirk and was the son of Charlotte and the late Charles Alexander of Upland, Ettrick, Selkirk and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey. He had been educated at Selkirk High School before going on to Edinburgh University where he had studied Law between 1903-1904. He served his articles as a Solicitor in Edinburgh before joining the family law firm. After the death of his father he took over some of his responsibilities including Clerk to the Yarrow School Board. He was commissioned into the the 4th ( Territorial Force) K.O.S.B. in 1910 as a Second Lieutenant and was promoted to Lieutenant in January 1913. 12th July became known as the ” Black Day of the Borders” as at evening roll call only 70 unwounded men answered out of the over 700 Officers and Other Ranks who had begun the attack. Few Border towns and villages had not lost at least one of their sons that day. The first photograph shows the attack objective, Achi Baba, marked with a cross. This hill dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second shows Borderers going over the top and into the attack and the third shows the battlefield in 1922.

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